1988 – I came home several hours earlier than usual from work one morning and found her car gone; I knew then for certain that my wife was out fucking another cock somewhere (driving almost an hour each way to meet lover boy for many months), but I had had growing suspicions for quite some time before that she was being unfaithful. This just verified it.
Later I learned she would wait until I left for work at 7 PM to start dressing up like a street slut for him and be out the door less than an hour later, coming back an hour or so just before I was due home, shower to get his dried sperm off her then pretend to be asleep. I will not rehash much more of this garbage, it serves no useful purpose now other than basic background, and it brings back my anger in waves as I write about this even now. Only a couple of points to be made before moving on. One; my love for her instantly turned into rage and pure total hatred (I mean 100% hate, the killing kind where murder is a high possibility). Two; I did not beat her to death like I so badly wanted to do. That was my forgiveness, I let her live. The ex was no longer a human being to me, unworthy of and far beyond any consideration whatsoever; it became merely a contemptible animal to be kicked aside and ignored. The upside was that I was not sitting in prison for murdering a cheating whore.
It took less than 7 weeks from the day the I started the divorce until the final decree was signed off, my lawyer called one afternoon and congratulated me on being single again, I was numb but glad that it was over and done. Anything left of her personal crap had already been thrown into a dumpster, almost all of the furniture was gone, sold my truck and camper, if I remember right I kept my recliner chair and couch to sleep on till I left the house for the last time. About that time (during and after) alcohol began to be a problem, most days (I worked the 7 PM till 4 AM shift) I just drank, I had quite a supply of beer and hard liquor stacked up in the kitchen and did my best to rotate the stock. To be honest, I do not remember much of that time before I bailed out for good. Of course my job attendance and performance went down the tubes pretty fast and my boss became concerned, I was not a total idiot so I told him everything that had happened. He got it. My boss was a great guy and understood the shitshow I was going through, he also knew before I did that I would not stay much longer. He is the one who got me to thinking and looking into overseas expat jobs and actually helped me get in touch with the right people to make it happen. I think I stayed on the job for maybe one or two months after the divorce to get some cash built up and to dry out a little. My brain already knew that drinking was not an option to keep the hate and pain under control; I had a life to live and was damn sure going to live it on my terms and timetable so I started slacking off of the drinking. Towards the end of my job I took the balance of my vacation time (a few weeks I think) before actually quitting, tossed the recliner and couch, packed my suitcase, mailed the house keys back to the bank, locked the front door and caught a cab for the airport.
Ever hear of the Marshall Islands? That was my overseas assignment for the next twelve months, several thousand miles of open ocean between the island and any other place else on the planet. From Florida to Los Angeles to Honolulu to Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. Kwaj is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) long and averages about 800 yards (730 m) wide per Wikipedia, all I can personally attest to is that it’s fucking tiny! And so close to the equator that days are always 12 hours long, temperature is nearly a constant 75-80 degrees and there are only two seasons; daytime and wet.
There were perhaps a half dozen compact utility pickup truck on the island to haul stuff, but everybody else got around by bicycle or on LPCs (leather personnel carriers, shoes). And three bars! One was sea side next to the swimming pools, one was the main club and one on the lagoon side beach (served only beer, got closed while I was there). However by that time I was fast loosing interest in drinking since I was finding a lot of new stuff to keep me occupied. After leaving Kwaj a year later I had quit drinking altogether, just lost the taste for alcohol.
Most of the working people lived in dorm rooms, two guys to a room. On the far end of the island were some separate private houses for pilots and their families, managers and VIPs, but for the common peons it was dormitory living. Not actually bad, just not a lot of private space, my roomie and I sorted it out by moving the room’s huge storage lockers to the middle creating a kind of wall. It was good enough. The dorm rooms had the AC usually set to Cold or Freeze Your Nuts Off, I preferred Cold.
Most of us dorm rats (the landless serfs) ate at a community dining hall that served up some excellent food and the cooks went all out for holidays; I gained some weight back that I had lost so it did me good. One issue, at first, was boredom. After work all day and eating, then you had to find something to do, right? Opportunities for recreation was not lacking; there was an outdoor movie theater (you always brought an umbrella with you for the near guaranteed evening rain showers). Lots of sports (baseball, football, tennis), diving and diving classes, pottery making, library, boating and water skiing, wood working, swimming, all kinds of crafts and clubs; and boozing if that was your thing. Tried my hand at ceramics (and royally sucked at making usable clay pots) and discovered that air bubbles left in ceramics explode quite nicely in a hot kiln; just an interesting fact for a future conversation topic.
I took SCUBA diving lessons and got single tank PADI certified to a depth of 50 feet, started learning underwater photography around the same time. Diving deep can be disappointing unless we were wreck diving, all colors are washed out to grays below 30 to 40 feet, deep photography without external lights isn’t that great. However the upper coral reefs at shallow depths of 5 to 20 feet were spectacular to dive on and photographed nicely. And one last discovery, sharks. Sharks eat people, newly divorced men seem to be especially tasty and are highly valued as snacks. Being in a wet suit with an air tank on does not fool sharks one bit, you do not look scary or inedible.
I liked my work and spent some of my off duty time just hanging around the shop pissing away the day husking coconuts. Some of my Marshallese friends showed me how to husk coconuts, bake bananas and breadfruit, swim with sharks (I observed from safe dry land, mama did not raise an idiot), what NOT to pick up off the beach (people were still finding unexploded bombs and shells from WW2 once in awhile); back then there was an EOD team stationed on the island for explosives disposal. I once found a live American hand grenade not far from one of the old Jap pill boxes, the handle and pin were still in place….very briefly I was tempted to go “fishing” with it, but common sense kicked in and I called EOD instead. It just would not do to be divorced, quit drinking then blow myself to kingdom come. Lots of time lounging on the lagoon side beach, swimming, reading and perfecting the island art of just relaxing in Paradise. And I was getting a decent salary to boot. Not too many places to actually spend my paycheck but it was the thought that counted; I left Kwaj with well over ten thousand Yankee dollars in my pocket.
During that year I got a lot fitter, actually saw some abs show themselves, gained a few more pounds, tanned and didn’t get sunburned to a crisp. I did let my beard and hair go wild (had a cute little pony tail cut off before I went off island though) so looked a tad bit on the rougher side after several months. Flip-flops, ragged ass T shirt and cut off jeans, and a straw hat became the normal island attire, this “going native” among many of the working class guys on island caused some mild concern among certain of the busy-body managers.
At a little over the six month mark on the job I was told to leave the island for “vacation”, get back to the land of white girls and Burger King for a couple of weeks, you know…Honolulu. Eh? take a vacation from Paradise? WTF? Nevertheless my boss insisted I take time off (it was not really a request after all), get my butt off Kwaj, go any place else. Since Honolulu was not my idea of a place that I wanted to spend time at, I packed a small bag and took an Air Marshall Islands plane (roughly a 3 hour flight) to the Caroline Islands for my R&R.
Left Kwaj and flew to Pohnpei, Caroline Islands; once I cleared past CI customs (Customs had just two questions: Am I a criminal? Am I carrying any plants? No and no. Welcome to Pohnpei!). I rented a wall-less seaside hut just outside of Kolonia (the only town) on island for a couple weeks of “R&R”. I figured if I got much more relaxed I’d go catatonic. Did some fishing and hiking through the jungle on most days, ate like a pig and apologized to no one.
On most Pacific islands beer is expensive since it all has to be imported, mostly by ship, once a month. In fact nearly everything that is not native coconuts, breadfruit, fish or fruit is imported; rice, SPAM, gasoline, medicine, spare parts, beer…all expensive.
Luckily I was introduced to a native drink called sakau (or kava) that is a handy substitute for the imported beer. Kids would be sent into the jungle to dig up several bags full of some kind of pepper plant root, the roots are chopped up fine on a stone block then the juice is squeezed out. Sakau tastes like heavy peppery mud, thick and dark brown in color. After knocking back a several coconut shells full of sakau, you become quite happy, no pain and no worries, unable to move around very much, drooling a little and a bit sleepy. Since the kids don’t get paid to dig up the roots it’s free, my kind of beverage.
Around the same time I was completely enjoying spit-roasted pig, baked yams and sakau, I also nearly got my ass into a permanent sling. Young Polynesian women can be mind blowing gorgeous and it had been a very long time since I had sex. One exceptionally beautiful 19 year old young woman decided I might be suitable husband material even though I was white and had a nasty habit of peeing on any handy tree. Maybe produce some hybrid kids? Ah jeez, long black hair, brown eyes, beautiful face, nice tits, nice ass, great legs and enthusiastic! Yeah, I fell in love pretty damn fast with her, might have taken me all of 30 seconds. She would plant taro, sweep out the hut, stay pregnant, make me sakau no doubt and be a good Polynesian wife.
I used to wonder how my life might have turned out if I had returned and stayed on Pohnpei with her after the Kwaj job was finished. I didn’t, but it was a very close call and so tempting at the time. Vacation wrapped up and like a loyal minion I went back to work on Kwaj.
Six months later I finished the contract on Kwaj and did not want to renew it for another year. The laid back lifestyle of the islands could have easily sucked me in, another chance to get a pretty Polynesian wife in the bargain and pop out kids for a hobby, eventually I could just veg out of society all together. Already had met a couple of older white guys on the outer islands who had done just that. The year on Kwaj had been a time of recovery and recuperation from the shitshow I left back in the US, now I had a good taste of expat life and found another assignment to go to after Kwaj, literally on the other side of the world.